New Law Lets Schools Move Election, Pass Budget Without Voter OK
A discussion of the pros and cons of changing election dates.
A new law now gives individual school districts the ability to not only move board elections to the November ballot, but also pass budgets without voter approval.
Supporters of this legislation, signed by Gov. Chris Christie Tuesday, say this move is related to low voter turnout in the April elections.
Under the legislation, the election date can move through one of three methods:
- a resolution by the board of education,
- a resolution by the municipal governing body, or
- public question presented to voters in November
Frank Belluscio, spokesman for the New Jersey School Boards Association, a group in favor of the new law, said several phone calls have reached the association from superintendents, business administrators and school board members interested in making the change to a November election.
"Voters do not get to vote on municipal or county budgets," Belluscio said. "School budgets often bear the brunt of voter dissatisfaction."
The deadline to pass a resolution has not been confirmed yet by the state.
The law is supported by the New Jersey Education Association and the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA). However, according to an NJSBA spokesman, the group did seek an amendment that would have removed the municipal governing body's authority to change the date unilaterally.